Database

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ERITREA

Reported in 2022, last reported in 2023

Pillar Online sales and transactions  |  Sub-pillar Maximum foreign equity share for investment in e-commerce sector
Reported ban on foreign investment
Art. 5 of the Investment Proclamation No. 59/1994 states that all sectors are open to any investors, with the exception of domestic retail, domestic wholesale, import, and commission agency companies, which are excluded unless there is a bilateral agreement of reciprocity. Yet, it is reported that in practice, this law has been suspended and the ruling Peoples Front for Democracy and Justice (PFDJ) determines the sectors in which private investment is accepted and defines the terms under which it is permitted. As a result, investment is de facto prohibited in most sectors of the economy (with the exception of mining), including the e-retail sector. It has also been reported that the majority of large enterprises are either wholly or partially owned by the government or the PFDJ.
Coverage E-retail

ERITREA

N/A

Pillar Telecom infrastructure and competition  |  Sub-pillar Passive infrastructure sharing obligation
Lack of obligation to share passive infrastructure
It is reported that there is no obligation for passive infrastructure sharing in Eritrea to deliver telecom services to end users, and it is not practiced in the mobile sector and in the fixed sector based on commercial agreements.
Coverage Telecommunications sector

ERITREA

Reported in 2022, last reported in 2023

Pillar Telecom infrastructure and competition  |  Sub-pillar Maximum foreign equity share for investment in the telecommunication sector
Reported ban on foreign investment
Art. 5 of the Investment Proclamation No. 59/1994 states that all sectors are open to any investors, with the exception of domestic retail, domestic wholesale, import, and commission agency companies, which are excluded unless there is a bilateral agreement of reciprocity. Yet, it is reported that in practice, this law has been suspended and the ruling Peoples Front for Democracy and Justice (PFDJ) determines the sectors in which private investment is accepted and defines the terms under which it is permitted. As a result, investment is de facto prohibited in most sectors of the economy (with the exception of mining), including the telecom sector. It has also been reported that the majority of large enterprises are either wholly or partially owned by the government or the PFDJ.
Coverage Telecommunications sector

ERITREA

Since October 2003
Since December 2012

Pillar Telecom infrastructure and competition  |  Sub-pillar Presence of shares owned by the government in telecom companies
Proclamation No. 134/2003, The Eritrea Telecommunication Services Corporation Proclamation

Proclamation No. 172/2012, A Proclamation to Repeal the Proclamation Establishing the Eritrea Telecommunication Services Corporation and Facilitate its Conversion into a Share Company
Arts. 2-4 of the Proclamation No. 134 of 2003 establish the Eritrea Telecommunication Services Corporation (Eritel), which is a state-owned company and remains the only telecom in the country. The Proclamation No. 172 of 2012 converted this entity into a share company making its shares available for investors, but there is no public information on the share of private ownership.
Coverage Telecommunications sector

ERITREA

N/A

Pillar Telecom infrastructure and competition  |  Sub-pillar Functional/accounting separation for operators with significant market power
Lack of mandatory functional and accounting separation for dominant network operators
It is reported that Eritrea does not mandate functional or accounting separation for operators with significant market power (SMP) in the telecom market.
Coverage Telecommunications sector

ERITREA

N/A

Pillar Telecom infrastructure and competition  |  Sub-pillar Signature of the WTO Telecom Reference Paper
Lack of appendment of WTO Telecom Reference Paper to schedule of commitments
Eritrea has not appended the World Trade Organization (WTO) Telecom Reference Paper to its schedule of commitments.
Coverage Telecommunications sector

ERITREA

N/A

Pillar Telecom infrastructure and competition  |  Sub-pillar Presence of independent telecom authority
Lack of an independent telecom authority
Eritrea has a telecommunications authority: The Communication Department. However, it is reported that the decision making process of this entity is not fully independent from the government.
Coverage Telecommunications sector

ERITREA

N/A

Pillar Cross-border data policies  |  Sub-pillar Participation in trade agreements committing to open cross-border data flows
Lack of participation to trade or regional agreements committing to cross-border data flows
Eritrea has not joined any trade or regional agreements with binding commitments to cross-border data flows.
Coverage Horizontal

ERITREA

Since August 1994

Pillar Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) in sectors relevant to digital trade  |  Sub-pillar Screening of investment and acquisitions
Investment Proclamation No. 59/1994
Section 7 of the Investment Proclamation No. 59/1994 addresses the issue of technology transfer agreements. The legislation stipulates that investors, investment projects, and organisations may employ expatriate experts in the absence of national experts, whether technical or managerial. However, they are obliged to train nationals and replace expatriates. Technology transfer agreements must be lodged and registered by the Investment Center and approved by a duly authorised government body. Furthermore, Section 17 stipulates that investors who seek certification in relation to the registration of technology transfer agreements or guarantees for investment and the resolution of disputes are required to complete application forms prepared by the Centre and present all necessary documents requested by the Centre. In issuing certification, the Centre shall ascertain, among other things, the type and amount of investment, the type of business organisation and the signing of a technology transfer agreement. It is reported that in practice the Investment Proclamation No. 59/1994 has been suspended, and that the ruling Peoples Front for Democracy and Justice (PFDJ) determines the sectors and defines the terms under which private investment is accepted. There is no transparent government screening mechanism for approving inbound foreign investment in Eritrea. Additionally, it is asserted that the few foreign enterprises operating in Eritrea do so under non-public agreements negotiated directly between the companies or countries and a small group of officials from the government and the PFDJ.
Coverage Horizontal

ERITREA

N/A

Pillar Intellectual Property Rights (IPRs)  |  Sub-pillar Practical or legal restrictions related to the application process for patents
Lack of transparency related to the application process for patents
Eritrea’s statistics on patent filing registration show that all its patent application were made abroad, both by residents and non-residents. The country is not a signatory of any of the international treaties on IP, and has no written mechanism to register patents in the country. There is a general lack of data and information on the IP environment in country and a lack of transparency.
Coverage Horizontal

ERITREA

N/A

Pillar Intellectual Property Rights (IPRs)  |  Sub-pillar Practical or legal restrictions related to the enforcement of patents
Lack of transparency on patent enforcement
There are complaints on the lack of transparency regarding the enforcement of patents, with difficulties of knowing the extent of protection, and with no data on enforcement and judicial actions.
Coverage Horizontal

ERITREA

N/A

Pillar Intellectual Property Rights (IPRs)  |  Sub-pillar Participation in the Patent Cooperation Treaty
Lack of participation in the Patent Cooperation Treaty (PCT)
Eritrea is not a party to the Patent Cooperation Treaty (PCT).
Coverage Horizontal

ERITREA

Since May 2015

Pillar Intellectual Property Rights (IPRs)  |  Sub-pillar Copyright law with clear exceptions
Civil Code of the State of Eritrea
Eritrea has a copyright regime under the Civil Code of the State of Eritrea. However, the exceptions do not follow the fair use or fair dealing model, therefore limiting the lawful use of copyrighted work by others. Arts. 1161-1172 list the exceptions, which include the reproduction of the original works if they are single copies and for private use; analysis and press reviews, for educational and scientific purposes; daily news articles on current events, and if they are “official texts of legislative, administrative or judicial nature; among others.
Coverage Horizontal

ERITREA

Reported in 2021, last reported in 2023

Pillar Intellectual Property Rights (IPRs)  |  Sub-pillar Enforcement of copyright online
Lack of information on enforcement of copyright online
Eritrea is reported to lack transparency in the area of copyright, in particular there are reported difficulties in knowing the scope of IP protection, and there is a lack of data on enforcement and prosecutions on the ground.
Coverage Horizontal

ERITREA

N/A

Pillar Intellectual Property Rights (IPRs)  |  Sub-pillar Signature of the WIPO Copyright Treaty
Lack of signature of the WIPO Copyright Treaty
Eritrea has not signed the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) Copyright Treaty.
Coverage Horizontal